We arrived after a long and pretty turbulent journey. Even if we still don´t have a room and haven´t had a shower for over 24 h, the sun is shining and we meet Tamir Gilad and Carsten from Kravolution. We drive together with them to the Café Café, where we not just get the most needed coffee, but also a crazily good breakfast.
Finally, a part of the Dutch Krav Maga family, Rob, Mario and Bo, is joining in and … Tamir takes us to a breath taking view. A view over whole Haifa. The light buildings glowing in the sun. They are actually blending. On the other end of the sea: Lebanon. The shining, cloud free sky Israel´s above us. Welcome to the land of Krav Maga.
Tamir takes us to a Box studio – you can read I never give up in colorful letters on the shirts of the instructors. An old bunker with lots and lots of used sofas, big trophies and black and white pictures of old box legends on the baby blue walls.
Standing in the middle of the ring: Sadam, a humanlike trainingsdummy, while Einstein, the red striped gym-cat, is sneaking around our legs. But this one is not a normal box gym. It´s not about the fighters, it´s about…children.
To be concrete, it´s about children with a behavioral disorder, who are not able to concentrate or not able to handle their aggressions. But here they don´t get treated with medication, but with a mix of Krav Maga and Thai Boxing. Why owner Kaosinski particularly works with children? They are the beginning of the circle. Additionally, adults don´t listen, he laughs. We get a tour.
He shows us the little cinema, with a big flat screen and beige 80´s style chairs. „This is where we show the children videos about Krav Maga and… how you behave properly,“ he says.
Out of the sudden, we find ourselves in the so called Ninja Cages. All black. No light. This is where the meditation takes place. „The eyes get used to the darkness after a while. You can see better then,“ Kaosinski explains. There are three of those cages. The first one small with a stone like floor. The second one much bigger. We can feel the carpet under our feet, but can´t see anything than black. The owner of Kaosinski Cae points to the third cage. A whole in the wall. That big that you can climb through it. Not big enough to walk through it standing.
Meditation is important, he says. So that you can find to yourself and sort your thoughts out. Only then you are able to focus. But he hated the first fifty times of meditation himself. You have to learn it. Already Buddha taught, who is not able to meditate, needs it the most. It´s about focusing on yourself and your senses.
That´s what the exercise room is for, too. You can find plenty of ear defemders and eye masks thereto train with. You have to rely on your senses. A whole new exercise experience? That´s what Julian, Carsten, Rob, Mario and will soon experience themselves during the warm up with Tamir.
Put in teams, one of the partners has to wear both, so that he can neither hear nor see. He has to be protected by the other part of the team, while the rest of the group is attacking. The first nose got broken. But, like on the streets, it just belongs to combat. Afterwards the proper training starts.
„Most of the attackers, particularly terrorist, don´t play games,“ says Tamir, while he is explaining different reactions to a knife attack. Different situations are played out. Kaosinski shows Thai Boxing techniques like in the old days. „You have to feel the situation,“ says Tamir. „Else there is no way to properly assess it.“
That fits the prevention thought of Krav Maga. „The best solution is always to escape the situation,“ stresses Tamir. In one line with that, Kaosinki shares his personal experience with us.
He used to work as a bouncer and he realized only through a mistake, that nearly cost his sports career, how many mistakes he actually made in terms of defense and prevention. An attacker stabbed him 1 mm next to his lounges during a knife attack. Proper behavior and the assessment of the situation might had prevented him of that danger.
Just luck let him carry away nothing more than a scar. However, he has learnt from the situation and made new experiences through it. He shares one of those with us: The voice is guiding. For example, someone grabs your wrist. Instead of defending yourself – or attacking – use your voice. „Let go!“ and most of the people, as long as they think rationally, will let go, says Tamir.
Kaosinki demonstrates then that the voice really is powerful on a training dummy. Firstly, he punches it without making any noises. Power, but Charlie is not really impressed. Breath in, breath out, punch again and use your voice. The punch will be much more extensive then. You have a voice, use it, might be applicable for all life areas.
While Tamir shows Law Enforcement techniques and demonstrates them, the children are coming one after the other. All attention is for Einstein… until the training in the afternoon, when all attention is to Krav Maga.